A FORMER police officer from Penarth swindled £12,000 in benefits by saying she was too ill to put on shoes - but was seen ice skating and horse riding.

Suzanne Wibley, 40, told benefits officials she was too weak to walk for two years after leaving her job as a British Transport police bobby on the beat.

The former superfit police community support officer was given benefits because she claimed she needed help to wash, cook, and dress herself.

But a court heard she posted snaps on Facebook of herself enjoying "an active lifestyle" including riding horses and skating at an ice rink.

Mother-of-two Wibley worked as a police community support officer for nine years but had to retire due to her "health problems" with her hips.

Prosecutor Deena Beynon said Wibley fraudulently claimed £12,829.53 between July 2015 and October 2017.

She said: “This was a substantial overpayment over a considerable period of time.

“She stated she was in a great deal of pain. She said she could not stand for long periods, needed help walking, and had difficulty getting up and down stairs.

”Her Facebook profile showed she had been horse riding and ice skating in 2015 and 2016.”

A court heard Wibley made a valid claim for Personal Independence Payment in 2014 staying she could “hardly walk” after a hip replacement operation.

But she failed to tell the authorities when her mobility improved.

She then went on to get a job as a care assistant and did not tell authorities about her change in circumstances.

Ms Beynon said: “In 2015 this defendant, however, took on employment with Everycare Cardiff Limited. She was employed as a care assistant.”

Wibley's new role meant she was responsible for helping elderly and disabled people with shopping and preparing meals.

The company said it was never made aware she had any health conditions.

On a typical shift Wibley would complete around 10 visits lasting for 30 minutes or an hour each.

Cardiff Magistrates heard she regularly worked with a disabled woman who required full weight-bearing contact.

Wibley stopped working for the company following a fall in November 2015.

Her case was reviewed by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2016.

Ms Beynon said: “She indicated that she was still suffering with significant difficulties in terms of her mobility.”

Wibley claimed she required help putting on trousers and sometimes needed to use a wheelchair or walking stick.

Ms Beynon said: “She was not particularly honest during that interview. She misled those who were interviewing her.”

Wibley admitted dishonestly failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances.

Vaughan Britton, defending, said the mum-of-two was diagnosed with crumbling of the hip in 2014 and had full hip replacement surgery.

Mr Britton said Wibley did not tell the authorities her health had improved because her family was in £50,000 of debt.

Wibley, who is now working as a cleaner, was given a 12-month community order requiring her to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 25 days of a rehabilitation activity.

She must pay £85 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge.